Fabrice Bouteloup grew up in Mayenne, near the border with Britanny in north-west France. Summers were spent on his grandmother’s farm, watching her rear pigs, make butter and milk the cows. For him Cuisine Grandmère is not a fad, it’s something that has inspired his cooking career.
He trained in France before moving to the UK in 1993. In Edinburgh, he worked in the Howard Hotel’s prestigious Restaurant 36 and the Atrium, having earned his stripes in London with Anthony Demetre, Michelin-starred chef at Putney Bridge.
Before starting their own business, Fabrice and Alison travelled the world working for private clients. Opening Barley Bree was the obvious next step. Here he can combine his French sensibilities with Scotland’s seasonal produce in a menu that changes every day.
Everything is freshly made on the premises. Fabrice’s crusty, country-style bread is justifiably famous and accompanies every meal at Barley Bree. And while he might change his mind about the garnish for the pork loin or the perfect salad to set off the salmon, one thing on the menu never changes. Tarte Tatin, the caramelised apple tart made famous by the Tatin sisters in the 1860s, is his signature dessert and an absolute must-try.
First food memory: Roast chicken at my grandmother’s farm
Favourite place to shop for food: The market in Megève, in the French alps – especially the fish stall
First restaurant you took your wife on a date: Atrium, Edinburgh
Chef you would most like to work with: Andrew Fairlie
Restaurant you would most like to eat at: Pierre Gagnaire, Paris
Favourite cookery book: Larousse Gastronomique
What do you have for breakfast: A mug of coffee
Anything you would refuse to cook: Tuna
Desert island piece of kitchen equipment: A knife
Desert island dinner: Côte de boeuf (Scottish beef of course ) with béarnaise sauce
Career high: Barley Bree
Career low: A one night trial shift at so-called top London restaurant
Most influential mentor: My boss at a family-run business in rural France, Christian Louvigné was very encouraging when I was working on my chef’s qualifications
Favourite thing about Scotland: The scenery and the great produce